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Soaring Child: Thriving with ADHD

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May 23, 2024

Did you know that ADHD is meant to be a diagnosis of exclusion? This means other potential causes should be considered before confirming ADHD. 

Surprisingly, conditions like concussions can show similar symptoms and are often misdiagnosed as ADHD. In this episode of the Soaring Child podcast, Dr. Spencer Zimmerman joins the show to discuss how concussions in kids are frequently mistaken for ADHD and what signs to look for.

Dr. Zimmerman is a Clinician and Founder at Idaho Brain and Body Institute, where he helps individuals struggling with neurological, psychological, and body-based symptoms and conditions. He's refined his unique method over the past 10 years and has worked with over 2,000 patients. He's the author of the best selling book Brain-Reset: 7 Steps to a Healthier Brain. He's been on ABC, CBS, and Daily Flash talking about brain health.

He's uniquely cross trained as both a Chiropractor and Nurse Practitioner. He's a Diplomate in Chiropractic Neurology, a Peptide Certified Provider through A4M, and has extensive training in Functional Medicine and Functional Immunology. 

Link Mentioned in the Episode: 
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Key Takeaways:

[4:29] How often are concussion symptoms mistaken for ADHD?
[5:47] Similarities between ADHD symptoms and concussion symptoms
[7:17] How can parents make sure their kids are prepared for contact sports
[9:57] The prevalence of concussions among youth & signs to watch for
[14:47] What parents should do if they suspect a concussion
[18:35] Steps for recovery from a concussion
[21:38] When should kids go back to playing sports after a concussion
[22:37] What can be done to minimize the risk of concussions
[24:57] Where to find Dr. Zimmerman online


Memorable Moments:

 ”It may look like ADHD symptoms if a concussion goes misdiagnosed.”

”ADHD rates are going up, and there’s a lot of different things that are happening…that are contributing to that. But let’s not forget also that there can be other things that can cause ADHD-like symptoms.”

”When you get a diagnosis, you’ve got to say, ‘Is there a better explanation for it?’ So don’t ever give a kid an ADHD diagnosis unless you’ve said, ‘We’ve looked at the other things that would better explain these symptoms, and concussions are things that are routinely missed.”

”It’s actually upwards of 20% of kids who play contact sports will suffer a concussion each and every year, and 50% are never going to be diagnosed or evaluated…

”The goal is not to prevent them from playing sports. The goal is to say, ‘How can we play sports safely and  then when is the right time to return because your functionality is back where it should be?’”

”You shouldn’t be making a concussion diagnosis based purely on symptoms.”

”If you’re suspecting a concussion, you won’t see it on imaging. You have to do these detailed tests.”

”If you have a concussion, your risk of a lower extremity injury or any injury in a sport actually goes up the next 2 years...But if you get the concussion truly recovered and not just symptom-free, you’re going to minimize that risk.”

”Females have a greater risk for concussions.”

”Strengthen your neck because that way,  if you do, you’ve got more resilience.”


How to Connect with Dr. Spencer Zimmerman



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